One morning last week, I had a truly liberating experience.
Well, it wasn’t liberating to begin with, for a split second it was terrifying. I had woken up that morning, and opened my eyes, only to find that I still couldn’t see anything.
I had a miniature panic attack, and to my embarrassment realised that I had actually just tangled my head up in my own waist-length dyed red hair. I had literally mummified myself in my sleep with my gingerness.
I recovered, disentangled myself and got out of bed. I looked in the mirror at my hair, and let out an “Ugh”.
I had yearned for long red hair ever since I discovered I could drag a fork through it, thanks to a certain redheaded Disney mermaid.
Over the many years that I had been growing out my hair, I suffered a few of those ‘restless haircuts’. You know the ones; when you’re dying to grow your hair out reeeeally long, but you get impatient and bored when it’s at that awkward mid-length, and then you watch Pulp Fiction, see that incredible bob Uma Thurman’s rocking and think, “Yeah, that would look awesome on me.”
Then you chop it all off and look like a nutter for a few days, morosely stroking your boob where your hair used to be, out of habit.
And you come to the sad realisation that only Uma Thurman could ever look as awesome as Uma Thurman.
I could have brushed it, I can hear you say, but after two years of smothering my naturally mousy locks with tango-tinged peroxide, whenever I brushed my hair out, I’d shower myself with snapped off split ends and create new ones. Grim, isn’t it?
So what would I do? Sweep it up in a clip and forget all about it. Which is not really the point of long red hair, is it? It should be freeeeee for all to envy!
It was time for my ginger mane and I to have The Talk.
It was ugly and there were tears, but in the end we decided it was best for us to part. However, after so long in each other’s company, I couldn’t just cut it out of my life so abruptly, so I decided to write a love letter to my hair (who for the sake of the letter is called…Fergie. More to do with her gingerness, nothing to do with the unfortunate divorce parallels).
I’m sorry for the way we left things last week. It was sharp and harsh and you deserved so much better than the treatment I gave you. I blew hot and cold for so long (with straighteners, mostly) and our love turned toxic when I turned to the bottle.
And when you caught me looking at pictures of other girls, and you accused me of having a fetish for pixie cuts, I realised that sometimes a relationship can last too long. Every day I felt sick at the sight of you, and it felt like our tempers, and your ends, were getting too frayed, and we both snapped.
So wasn’t it best for me to cut you off now rather than later, while we’re still fond of each other, and not when the only thing keeping us together is the duty to honour the years we’d already spent attached? If we don’t, you’ll start getting under my feet and that would only hurt you.
We still have those fond memories. Remember that party we went to, and I was dressed as Princess Merida? Or how about the many hours we spent trying to imitate Willow Smith, and we whipped back and forth? Those were good times. You made me feel like a little girl, whenever you entwined yourself around my fingers, and I will always be grateful. But it’s time to grow up, and stop pretending that this can last forever.
I’m 22 years old and about to graduate from university, so it’s time to start acting like a grown-up, not pretending I’m a Disney princess.
I mean, it’s all very nice to look at but Rapunzel wouldn’t last five minutes in the real world. Imagine her trying to use the Tube. An irate Londoner would chop her hair off before she’d even got to the bottom of the escalator.
For Lizzie’s arduous journey to achieve dyed red hair, click here.
Thinking of cutting your red hair? Come back soon for Lizzie’s tips on going short.